By the accounting rules Netflix has applied to its own metrics, Season 4 of Stranger Things will go down as the second most popular show on the platform ever, failing only to meet the bar of just over 1.65 billion streaming hours garnered last fall by Korean-language show Squid Game in its first 28 days on the platform.
Stranger Things S:4 led Netflix once again last week, attracting nearly 188.2 million viewing hours from July 4-10. That's a marked deceleration from the nearly 301.3 million streaming hours Stranger Things S:4 generated the previous week, after the final two episodes of Season 4 dropped on July 1.
Stranger Things S:4 is Netflix's all-time English-language series champ, usurping Bridgerton Season 2 weeks ago. But Season 1 of Squid Game, Netflix's all-time non-English language series champ, appears safe to keep its overall title, as well.
However, the discussion becomes much more interesting when you ditch the rule that bisects shows by season and also abandon the notion that only viewership after the first 28 days of release matters.
Just in the seven weeks since the first seven episodes of Stranger Things S:4 dropped on May 27, the four combined seasons of the show generated nearly 2.3 billion hours of streaming. This doesn't account for all the millions -- or billions -- of hours of streaming Stranger Things garnered between its July 2016 debut and late May of this year.
With Stranger Things S:4 ranking as the No. 1 show on Netflix in 27 countries outside the U.S. last week, we think it's entirely safe to wonder, is this series, accounting for all episodes and seasons, the most popular show ever not just on Netflix, but on TV overall? Ever?
Just a thought ... we like to think big like that.
NEXT TV NEWSLETTER
The smarter way to stay on top of the streaming and OTT industry. Sign up below.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!